AUGUST  2013

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UNESCO’s World Heritage List includes 981 impressive properties that form part of the cultural and natural heritage deemed as having outstanding universal value by the World Heritage Committee. Among these celebrated properties are Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Coast, and Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Himeji Castle. Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san, is the latest Japanese property to gain World Heritage status, bringing Japan’s total number of listed properties to 17. 


Mount Fuji is a beautiful, often snow-capped icon of Japan and is the country’s highest mountain, with a peak of 3776 metres. UNESCO classified the mountain as a cultural heritage site, rather than a natural one as it has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.” Mount Fuji is significant not only in cultural works, but also in history and faith. It is known for its symmetry and serenity but the diversity of Mount Fuji is one of its greatest attractions. Views of the mountain change with the seasons and times of the day. It is covered with pure white snow in winter, but is surrounded with mist and just a subtle crown of snow in summer. In Spring, cherry blossoms surround the base of the mountain and brightly coloured leaves in Autumn. There is often a bright red glow during sunset.


Over 300,000 people climb Fuji-san every year but with its new status, that number is expected to rise significantly. The 1st of July formally marked the beginning of the climbing season. In Japanese this is known as yamabiraki, which can be translated as ‘mountain opening’, and is celebrated with ceremonies to pray for the safe journey of climbers. There are many routes, shrines and lodging houses along the mountain and it is suitable for climbers of all levels. The climbing season ends in early September, but Mount Fuji can also be enjoyed from sightseeing spots in the Five Lakes region.










JET Programme Pre-Departure Reception


On July 11, participants in the 2013 Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme intake from Western Australia were guests of honor at a reception held at the Consul-General’s residence. Speeches were made by Consul-General Ishikawa and The Honourable Liza Harvey MLA, Minister of Police, Road Safety, Small Business and Woman’s Interests, on behalf of the Premier of Western Australia. An impromptu greeting was given by The Honourable Michael Mischin, MLC, Attorney General, Minister for Commerce and 2013 JET participant Ms Fiona Blair gave a speech on behalf of the participants. Mr Nick John, President of the JET Alumni Association of Western Australia then gave a toast. We hope the 19 JET participants from WA have a fantastic time in Japan and look forward to hearing about their experiences.


Consul-General Ishikawa, The Hon. Liza Harvey, The Hon. Michael Mischin, Mr Nick John and the 2013 JET Programme participants





Consul-General Tatsuo Ishikawa’s Farewell Reception


DSC00665The farewell reception for Consul-General Ishikawa was held on July 17. The proceedings began with an address by Consul-General Ishikawa, then a speech by His Excellency Malcolm McCusker, AC CVO QC, Governor of Western Australia. The Hon. Dr Kim Hames MLA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Health and Tourism spoke on behalf of the Premier of Western Australia, followed by a few words from The Hon. Mark McGowan MLA, Leader of the Opposition. Guests went on to have an enjoyable and memorable evening.


Mr Ishikawa completed his term as Consul-General at the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth at the end of July. Throughout his time in Perth, Mr Ishikawa worked to further strengthen the bonds between Western Australia and Japan in the political, economic and cultural arenas. Early in his post, Mr Ishikawa was overwhelmed by WA efforts for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the community’s continued support for the Consulate’s Tohoku-related events. Among the many other highlights during his tenure, Mr Ishikawa enjoyed visits to Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Esperance, Geraldton and the Pilbara.


Mr Ishikawa’s career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1969 and saw him posted to the UK, USA, Thailand, India and Singapore before Australia. We wish him the best in his retirement.


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Mr Ishikawa with His Excellency the Governor and Mrs McCusker____  ___Mr Ishikawa with Dr. Hames and Mrs Hames




Kagoshima City Youthwings Visit


On August 1st, a welcome event was held to mark the visit of a group of students from various schools in Kagoshima City as part of the ongoing Sister City relationship between Perth and Kagoshima. The event was hosted by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Perth Councillor Janet Davidson, on behalf of The Right The Honourable Lord Mayor Lisa M. Scaffidi. The annual Youthwings Exchange student delegation visits Perth for two weeks, participating in a homestay experience. This year the students from Kagoshima are being hosted by Mater Dei College students.







17th Japanese Film Festival


 This year Perth officially joins the the full national program, and will present over ten of the latest feature films and five classics. Screening content and times are yet to be decided, but festival dates and venues are as follows:


PERTH: 23 - 27 October at Hoyts Westfield Carousel & State Library Theatre

BROOME: 17 - 18 at the University of Notre Dame, Multi-purpose Hall (abridged program)


The official 2013 JFF full program will be announced in September.


Follow and like our Twitter and Facebook accounts to receive finalized screening details as they are confirmed. Or keep an eye on our website and of course, Hiroba.




Japan Festival in Perth 2014


The Japan Festival in Perth will be held on Saturday 22 February at Forrest Place. For more information visit the Japan Festival website:







Thirty-First Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest 2013 


The Thirty-First Australia-Japan Relations Essay Contest is now open to Australian school students in years 7-12 and aims to encourage Australian students to develop a better understanding of Japan and the issues facing our bilateral relationship.


Years 7-8: Junior A Division

Years 9-10: Junior B Division

Years 11-12: Senior Division



The first place winner in the Junior B and Senior Divisions will receive a return economy class air ticket to Japan. In addition, the first place winner in both these divisions will be provided with a 7-day Japan Rail Pass and 3 nights’ accommodation at Shiba Park Hotel in Tokyo. The first place winner in the Junior A Division will receive $300 worth of books. Prizes will also be awarded across the three divisions for ‘Outstanding Essays’ and ‘Highly Commended Essays’, and all prize winners will be awarded a certificate.


Entries close August 20, 2013. For more information please click here.



Art Speaks Japanese Contest


The Japan Foundation Art Speaks Japanese Contest for students of Japanese is now open. Create and display your own artwork inspired by the Art Speaks Japanese kit. Entries close September 27, 2013. See here for more details.



Video Matsuri Contest


Use your creative abilities to showcase your Japanese with a short film of up to 3 minutes for the Japan Foundation Video Matsuri Contest. The contest is now open and entries close September 27, 2013. See here for more details.











(ishi no ue nimo san-nen)


This month’s phrase is the proverb ishi no ue nimo san-nen. The original meaning is ‘even the coldest rock will get warm if sat on for three years’. In modern usage, it refers to the idea that you need to work hard at something for at least three years to see results. It is similar to the English expression, ‘perseverance will win in the end’.







Watch Japan Now


Shedding light on interesting people, figures and trends, Watch Japan Now brings you compact and accessible updates.


The whole of Fujikawaguchiko Town is getting ready to offer visitors its magnificent hospitality (June 28)

Local Media in Disaster-hit Areas Send out Information to Support Reconstruction: Miyagi Prefecture, part 2 (May 10)

Local Media in Disaster-hit Areas Send out Information to Support Reconstruction: Miyagi Prefecture, part 1 (April 23)

Local Media in Disaster-hit Areas Send out Information to Support Reconstruction: Iwate Prefecture (April 9)




Listen Japan Now


Catch the Konnichiwa Japanese and English radio program on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm on 107.3 FM.




Web Japan


Web Japan provides Japanophiles with a world of engrossing information on Japan in all fields, from traditional culture to the latest fashions.


Fun and Delicious “Happy Meal” (July 29)

Leading the World with Speed and Accuracy (July 22)

Synthetic Spider Silk stronger than steel (July 8)

Trends in Japan: Street Style – Vol. 1 Spring 2013 (July 1)


Also available on Web Japan is a downloadable version of the popular niponica magazine about Japanese culture. Current issue: niponica No. 9: Japanese Pop Culture.










WA (kaiWA) is a casual get-together of Japanese and Australians held every second Thursday. Hosted and organised by the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA (JETAA WA), kaiWA is a great chance to practice your Japanese, make Japanese friends and learn more about teaching English in Japan on the JET Programme.


kaiWA is held at 43 Below on the corner of Hay Street and Barrack Street in Perth. It starts at 5:30pm and runs until about 8:30-9pm, so don’t worry if you can’t be there at the starting time.


For more information on the JET Programme Alumni Association of WA, please check their website above and for more information on the JET Programme please check the following site.






Chatterbox is another casual get-together of Australians and Japanese, held on Saturday afternoons at the Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre from 2-4pm. For more details please call the Centre on 9385 9002 or visit their website.




AJS Tomodachi Lunch


On the first Thursday of every month, the Australia-Japan Society of WA holds a Tomodachi Lunch. The lunch is held at 12:00pm at Jun Restaurant, 568 Hay Street, Perth. See here for more details.



Bonsai Society of WA and Bonsai Workshop Inc.


bonsai,households,nature,plants,treesMeetings of the Bonsai Society of WA are held on the last Monday of each month and include demonstrations, lectures, films, advice and a display of members’ tree. The Bonsai Society also holds regular workshops and other events. For more information please click the above link.


Meetings of the Bonsai Workshop Inc. are held on the last Saturday of each month. Members can bring their trees to work on, receive advice and watch others at work. For more information please click on the above link.








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